Ok, so maybe the Ozzy reference is a bit over the top, but I’ve got news! Perhaps this news is a bit more ‘Welcome back Kotter‘ than the sad death dirge of Ozzy. But well, you know me, always one for a bit of flair and drama, right?
Do you remember my first job—Chuck E Cheese—being the birthday hostess with the most-ess? Do you remember how much I loved it; making new friends from other towns, being really good at something, growing up and experiencing so many of my firsts? You had a front row seat to some of the most formative learning moments of my (non-academic) life. And here we are 25 years later—and I am embarking on the same journey. Yes mom, I am going back home, to where my heart is, to yes—a REAL job—one that has been with me since the beginning, the restaurant business.
You remember right, when you disappeared I was working at the Bryant Lake Bowl (my favorite job, ever)? My mentor Luna—she believed in me like I think only you had up until that point. I was doing really well there. Then you left and well, my whole world came crumbling down. I lost my moorings, my anchor and was set adrift. Without you, I turned to the only place I thought would have the likes of me, Jesus. (ok, to be fair, I gave myself to the Lord, I thought it was the right choice, and maybe it was for a time) And working “for the Lord” well it was good, for a good long while.
But then, it wasn’t. Like, it really really wasn’t. It was like a cliché breakup: “hey Jesus it’s not you its me.” It was horrible: the guilt, the shame, what was wrong with me? I couldn’t figure out why it wasn’t working, it just wasn’t. Now, I know. Like a late in life married man who has known he was gay all along, but tried to make a go of a “real marriage”… but you know how this story ends. I am coming out.
I am a restaurant geek, always have been. And recently, like Luna before, some really great folks invited me to meet, we talked, and they think I am exactly the person to do what they need done. I am so happy I can hardly even stand it, and feel joy like I haven’t had since you left. I feel alive again.
Mama, I’m going home.
Details of the gig: I am leaving Capella (which has been so good to me) to become the Assistant General Manager of this really great new restaurant.
Reviews of the joint:
City Pages, VitaMN, Heavy Table, and Minnesota Monthly